Whipple's Procedure in South Africa

Treatment and Cost

28

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2 No. Travelers

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16 Days Outside Hospital

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About the Whipple's Procedure

Among all the forms of common cancers, it has been found that pancreatic cancer has the poorest prognoses. This reason can be attributed to the cancer growing and spreading long before it starts showing any visible symptoms. A survey revealed that only 6 percent patients survive for more than five years after its diagnosis. For some patients, a very complicated surgery known as the Whipple's procedure will be able to extend life and can be counted as a potential cure. After undergoing Whipple's surgery the five-year rate of survival can be increased to 25 percent.

People who are suffering from pancreatic cancer are eligible for the Whipple’s operation. People who have tumors confined to the pancreatic head and the blood vessels, lungs, and livers or the abdominal cavities are still not affected and are recommended to undergo this procedure after intensive testing and evaluation.

People with benign tumors are also recommended to undergo the procedure. For patients who are suffering metastasis, this procedure is not recommended. Cancer in the ampulla, region where the pancreatic duct and bile duct enter, can also be treated.

Whipple's Operation

Whipple's operation is conducted in the head of the pancreas. During the surgery, a segment of the duodenum, bile duct, and the gallbladder is removed. In some cases, a portion of the stomach may also be removed. After these segments are removed, the remaining pancreas, bile duct, and even portion of the intestine will be sutured back to the main intestine to direct the secretion of the gastrointestinal segment into the gut. The Whipple& procedure for pancreatic cancer is long and has several complications associated with it.

A doctor may recommend you to undergo Whipple operation for the treatment of the following conditions:

  • Pancreatic cysts, tumors, and cancer
  • Ampullary cancer
  • Pancreatitis
  • Neuroendocrine tumors
  • Cancer of the bile duct
  • Small bowel cancer
  • Traumatic injury to the small intestine or the pancreas
  • Tumor of disorders of the bile ducts, pancreas, or duodenum

How is Whipple's Procedure performed?

  • An intravenous (IV) line is put into a vein of the arm. You may receive a medication through the IV line that will help you relax.
  • General anaesthesia is administered to put you into temporary sleep so that you do not experience any discomfort.
  • A urinary catheter will be inserted to drain urine during and after the surgery.
  • The surgeon makes a single large incision (open surgery) or multiple small incisions (laparoscopic surgery) to access the internal organs.
  • The head of the pancreas is removed along with the gallbladder, small intestine, and the bile duct.
  • Sometimes, a part of the stomach and the nearby lymph nodes may also be performed.
  • In certain cases, another pancreatic surgery for some other procedure may also be performed at this time.
  • The remaining portions of the stomach, pancreas, and intestines are reconnected after the procedure.

Recovery from Whipple's Procedure

The operation is considered quite complex and therefore, the patient is required to stay in the hospital for one or two weeks with first night spent in ICU. Fatigue is common during Whipple’s procedure recovery phase for the first two months and follow-up occurs once in a week. This is followed by chemotherapy and radiation therapy in the case of cancer.

  • Patients are encouraged for short walks initially.
  • Slowly, solid foods are incorporated into the diet while pills are given for pain management.
  • Patients are instructed on how to keep the incision area clean and bathing instructions are given.
  • Consumption of small meals are recommended and the patients are advised to avoid fatty foods completely
  • Pancreatic enzyme replacements can be given.
  • The patient is asked to increase water intake and avoid lifting heavy weights.

Patient Stories

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the health care infrastructure of South Africa / Why should opt for South Africa as a destination for your medical treatment?
Like most countries, hospitals in South Africa are based upon public and private healthcare systems. There are three main levels of healthcare based upon the payment method of the patient.
  • The full paying patients are those who usually prefer to be treated by a doctor working in the private sector. They can also be funded by an external source. Many non-South African citizens also prefer this treatment service.
  • Fully subsidized patients are those who have been referred from a Primary Healthcare Service Hospital.
  • Partially subsidized patients are patients whose costs are subsidized based on the amount of their income.
The public healthcare system has three main centers for health under its wing:
  • Clinics - These are run by trained professionals and nurses. They can serve as the first point of contact for a patient.
  • Community Healthcare Centre - This is a bigger setup, complete with full-fledged services and doctors and nurses.
  • Hospital - A patient usually gets here after a referral from a clinic or community health center. One can also go in for emergencies. A hospital provides various services like performing surgery and treating chronic illnesses.
Hospitals in South Africa are gearing up to tackle major illnesses and to provide better treatment options. The South African government is also working to introduce policies and towards accommodating more patients from all across the world. It is a great country to find affordable treatment options.
What are the conditions of the hospitals in South Africa? Are they JCI certified? What is the quality of the support staff in the hospitals
The Joint Commission International (JCI) accredits and certifies most health care organizations and programs all around the world. Joint Commission International Accreditation and Certification is recognized as the global leader for health care quality of care and patient safety.
Are the doctors/surgeons in South Africa of the best quality?
Doctors associated with Medigence are of the best quality. We hope to give our patients a pleasant experience and the best doctors we can find. Since South Africa has a lot of requirements in the field of healthcare, the country attracts doctors from all over the world to contribute their services. This can help to ensure that even you receive the best quality of doctors.
What is the process for obtaining a medical visa in South Africa?
One can apply for a visa to South Africa for a period of 90 days. The High Commission of India can then help one decide for how long a visa can be extended. This usually differs from person to person. The Medical Visa allows a person to stay for a maximum of six months with a valid visa. After this, one can go to the FRO office ( Foreigner’s Registration Office ) or FRRO (Foreigner's Regional Registration Office) and request for an extension. Do note that the validity of a visa begins on the day it is issued by the High Commission of India and not on the date of departure. Applications for visas will not be accepted more than 30 days prior to departure.
What support services does MediGence provide in the United Arab Emirates?
MediGence enables you to plan and manage your medical decisions better. These are some of our services offered:
  • Expert Opinion
    We help you seek an Expert Opinion on your diagnosis and treatment from an experienced team of doctors at MediGence and specialists from a reputable hospital.
  • Hospital Recommendation
    We recommend a hospital or a healthcare institution that is best suited for you, based on your ailment and its criticality.
  • 360-degree Hospital Review
    We give you a transparent and holistic view of the hospital and its infrastructure, accreditation, facilities, and expertise to give you confidence.
  • Doctor Validation and Communication
    We share a comprehensive profile of the treating doctor and also arrange a call to clear queries regarding treatment if needed.
  • Options to Choose From
    Based on your choice of destination and other preferences, we provide you multiple options with respect to hospitals and doctors to choose from.
  • 24X7 Patient Care Support
    A dedicated patient case manager stays in constant touch with you to help you at every step of the decision-making process and resolve queries that you may have.
  • Transparent Treatment Cost and Other Expenses
    We give a clear and accurate indication of the total cost of treatment including treatment, stay, meals, and other expenses.
  • Visa Assistance
    We provide and help prepare documentation for visa approval and coordinate with the embassy to expedite the visa process.
  • Accommodation Arrangements
    We propose to you a choice of accommodation based on your preference such as long stay, short stay, or luxury properties.
Which are the best cities in South Africa for medical treatment?
While many cities are striving to create some of the best hospitals in South Africa, Durban, Lenasia, and Cape Town already have some very good hospitals for treatment in South Africa. Located in Durban, Ethekwini Hospital and Heart Centre is a reasonable and affordable hospital in South Africa. Life Kingsbury Hospital in Capetown provides a holistic healing environment for patients. One can also opt for the Ahmed Kathrada Private Hospital in Lenasia. This hospital has been running for nearly 30 years now and various medical facilities can be availed from here.

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